October 2018


Twin Commanders serve a unique and important role in helping to fight wildfires. Dozens serve as bird dogs or lead plane, helping to coordinate the aerial fire bomber response. As fire season begins to wind down, those airplanes will be flooding shops and companies will be buying parts while technicians furiously work on major maintenance packages, 150-hour inspections, and preventative maintenance in advance of next season’s flying.

Bird Dog Twin Commanders operate in a punishing environment. Airspray’s Paul Lane said, “We basically take the aircraft apart and put it back together again.” Like many other fire operators, Airspray has in-house maintenance, but they use the downtime to do more than just fix and inspect. “Over the years we’ve done interior changes, changes to panels, etc. It’s not just the maintenance side, it’s improving the aircraft.” The company operates seven Twin Commanders on active status, plus a few more in waiting that are used as corporate aircraft or ready spares. “690 and 695 are both the platform that everyone really likes,” Lane said.

In Canada, fire season is already winding down, but it remains strong in the United States. Beat the rush and get your Twin Commander into a service center and complete your 150-hour inspection before the rush of firefighting aircraft


Just because seat belts serve an essential safety function doesn’t mean they can’t also look great.

Upgrading your safety restraints not only improves the look of the aircraft, it can increase safety too. With a promotion from Twin Commander Aircraft and sister company Aircraft Belts, Inc. now is a great time to look at new equipment.

NBAA’s special promotion on safety restraints is being extended. Now through the end of the year Twin Commander owners will get special pricing on a set of customized engraved belts from Aircraft Belts. Configurations range from traditional three-point restraints (lap and shoulder harness) to five-point crew restraints. Restraint buckles are available in lift-lever, push-button, and rotary configurations.

If you have another type of aircraft, Aircraft Belts can help. They are offering similar pricing, with a modest additional charge for artwork. Get your airplane’s front or profile view on your aircraft seat belts, and refresh a key piece of safety equipment at the same time.

Contact Twin Commander Aircraft’s Brian Harbaugh at 919-956-4385 or [email protected] for more information and pricing.


You’ve successfully purchased your Twin Commander in a state that allows you to fly it away without paying sales tax, and you have determined no sales tax is due in your home state. That’s a good start, but you’re not free from a tax bill yet.

It’s time to determine if your state has a use tax on aircraft. “Use tax complements sales tax and is a tax on the consumer for the privilege of storing, using, or consuming within the state any tangible personal property,” writes Suzanne Meiners-Levy in the latest issue of Flight Levels. Meiners-Levy’s column explores the complex relationship between sales and use tax, and describes a few of the many exemptions that may be available to you.

Read more in the Fall issue of Flight Levels online


AOPA Senior Editor Tom Horne flying the simulator with Flight Safety International Twin Commander instructor Fred Sandoval. Houston, TX USA www.mikefizer.com 07-564_086.CR2,Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II

Twin Commander simulator training provider SIMCOM Holdings, Inc. announced in late October Directional Aviation had acquired the Orland-based simulator center. The transaction is expected to close in November.

Directional Aviation is the parent company of fractional operators Flexjet and Flight Options, as well as Nextant Aerospace, and other aviation businesses. SIMCOM CEO Eric Hinson will remain in the top job at the sim center.

SIMCOM is the exclusive factory authorized provider of pilot initial and recurrent training for 690/A/B and JetProp models, held at its Orlando facility. A SIMCOM representative said there would be no changes to the training programs as a result of the sale, although there was hope of renewed investment in the company’s simulators.